What is a friend?Aug 12, 2006 12:57 PM PST
**transferred from AI profile
You know, I could write all sorts of pat responses to that question, and they'd all be true, to a certain extent. Things like: a friend celebrates your happiness with you, and comforts you in your sorrow. A friend supports you when you need someone to lean on, or shakes you up if you get stuck in a holding pattern. They let you rant, then come back the next day pretending ignorance. They love you. They forgive you. They talk to you, not about you. They listen. These are all things a friend does. And they are all things that I have observed in the relationships around me.
It was brought home to me today that I don't know a whole hell of a lot about being a friend. I've been so wrapped up in my own problems that I've been oblivious to the people who are very dear to me. It's not that I don't care. I love my friends very much. They have been my rock, when my world was crumbling. They've done all the above listed things, and then some. But where have I been as a friend to them? I'm ashamed to admit I didn't even know about some of the things they were going through. I haven't been there to listen, to give comfort, or to talk to them. I've pushed them away to protect them from the depths of my sadness, even though they expressed their dismay at this misguided decision. I've done nothing to BE a friend, but I've demanded much from their friendship.
So what can I do to make amends? How can I be the friend they deserve? And why should they trust me to be the friend that they want? Soul Patrol, I need your help. If you are one of the people I have failed in the past, tell me what I can do to be a better friend to you. If we've never met, please give your thoughts on this as well.